11 Nov 2020
Residents in Western Sydney Region are urged to look out for signs of damage and presence of fly larvae following the detection of Serpentine leafminer in a vegetable crop.
NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) Manager Biosecurity Prevention & Preparedness Dr Chris Anderson said Western Sydney is a major horticultural and vegetable growing region.
“The Serpentine leafminer, also known as Pea leafminer, Liriomyza huidobrensis pose a serious threat to melons, vegetables, onions, grains, cotton, ornamentals and production nurseries,” Dr Anderson said.
“Leafminers look like tiny blackish flies, but the most obvious sign is the distinctive trails or squiggle patterns the larvae leave behind on plant leaves.
“The larvae feed internally on plant tissue, particularly the leaf, creating the classic mining trails that are associated with infestation.
“The larvae then pupate in soil, hatching out as flies, which lay eggs on surrounding host plants spreading infestation and increasing damage.
“Damaged plants commonly have reduced yield and in some cases are completely destroyed.
“It’s important for growers to be alert and report signs of this unwanted pest species in vegetable crops and nursery production.”
Currently NSW DPI and Greater Sydney Local Land Services staff are undertaking surveillance surveys across Western Sydney vegetable growers and nurseries to determine the extent of the incursion, which will inform the feasibility of eradication.
Everyone is encouraged to report any signs of leaf mining in vegetables to the Exotic Plant Pest Hotline on 1800 084 881 or send clear photographs via an online form.
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